Stuff and Nonsense: eggs

Showing posts with label eggs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label eggs. Show all posts


Cookbook Club: Brinner (Breakfast for Dinner)

April's library cookbook theme was brinner (breakfast for dinner). I thought this was a fun, quirky topic that would appeal to many different kinds of cooks. Apparently, I misjudged, because only seven cooks registered for the meeting ... of which, five turned up. I'm a little frustrated by the low turnout, because -- while there certainly seems to be a lot of interest in the club -- it is nearing its one year anniversary with attendance numbers lower than when it launched.

Anyway, the cooks who came were very excited to share their dishes:
  • "Amish Breakfast Casserole" from Taste of Home's Brunch Favorites: 201 Delicious Ideas to Start Your Day. So much cheesy potato goodness. Hearty, but not heavy. Very morish.

  • "Baked Cinnamon-Apple French Toast" from Gale Gand's Brunch! 100 Fantastic Recipes for the Weekend's Best Meal. Crunchy on the edges, moist and custardy in the middle, and so wonderfully redolent of cinnamon and apples. The honey butter topping sounded like too much, but paired wonderfully. Just thinking about this dish makes my mouth water.

  • "Breakfast Scramble" also from Taste of Home's Brunch Favorites: 201 Delicious Ideas to Start Your Day. The cook who made this used canned potatoes (to save herself 20 minutes), but there's no way we'd have been able to tell if she hadn't mentioned it. A nice, meaty hash.

  • "Syrupy Banana-Nut Overnight French Toast" from Good Housekeeping The Great Potluck Cookbook: Our Favorite Recipes for Carry-In Suppers, Brunch Buffets, Tailgate Parties & More. Creamy, custardy french toast a top a layer of gooey caramelized banana goodness. Very reminiscent of bananas foster and totally yum.

  • "Three-Meat Quiche" from The Perfect Egg: A Fresh Take on Recipes for Morning, Noon, and Night by Teri Lyn Fisher & Jenny Park. A fluffy, creamy, cheesy quiche filled with smoked ham, bacon, and sausage. We ate it closer to room temperature than warm and it was still delish -- and the crust was still crisp!

Everyone enjoyed talking about the cookbooks they'd used and the recipes they'd made. We were all very complimentary about each others' dishes and seconds (quite possibly thirds) were taken. I'm pretty sure everyone left with the intent of making their own dish of "Baked Cinnamon-Apple French Toast" as soon as possible.

And what did I make? I made "Chili and Cheese Crustless Quiche" from Taste of Home's Casseroles, Slow Cooker & Soups: 515 Hot & Hearty Dishes Your Family Will Love. As this was a quick-cooking slow cooker dish, I assembled and cooked it at the library before the club met. I'd fully intended to try the recipe at home over the weekend -- to make sure it worked -- but didn't have the time. Happily, cooking the quiche at work turned out fine and everyone seemed to enjoy it.

Some of the cooks that come to cookbook club aren't keen on very spicy foods, so I only used two cans of chiles rather than the three called for. Both cans were diced, as well, as I couldn't find whole canned chiles that weren't pickled. I didn't know what brand of chili con carne was best, so just went with Hormel's turkey chili without beans as it had fewer calories and less fat that other chilis on the shelf at the grocery store. The finished quiche did have a little kick, but the cheese and egg helped balance that. Overall, I feel it's something I'd make for myself.

This is not the first time I used Taste of Home's Casseroles, Slow Cooker & Soups for cookbook club -- I made the "Slow-Cooked Shepherd's Pie" back in February, when the theme was "Pies: Sweet & Savory." I've also made a few recipes from this cookbook just for myself -- the "Mexican Beef Stuffed Peppers" and "Chicken Merlot With Mushrooms" -- with good results. This is not the most exciting, cutting-edge cookbook out there, but its recipes are reliable and family-friendly (and almost always accompanied by very attractive photographs).


Green Bean "Shakshouka"

I've been enamored with the idea of shakshouka (also spelled shakshuka) -- eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes, peppers, onions, and spices -- for a while now and so here is my completely off the cuff "oh my cake, why did I buy so many green beans?!" take on it. I ate this as a late breakfast, but it would be equally delicious any time of the day.

Green Bean "Shakshouka"

Yield: 2


  • 4 ounces green beans, trimmed & chopped small
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • Sea salt & coarsely ground black pepper, to taste
  • Cracked rosemary, to taste
  • 14.5 oz can fire-roasted tomatoes (used crushed tomatoes for a saucier dish)
  • 2 large eggs
  • Crumbled goat or feta cheese, as desired for topping


  1. Heat olive oil in heavy skillet over medium heat. Add sliced onions and cook until tender and fragrant. Stir in green beans and tomatoes. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until green beans are tender, approximately 8 minutes. Season, stir, and then make a well in the middle.
  2. Crack eggs into the well, cover, turn heat down to low, and let cook until egg whites are set and egg yolks are as you like them -- I went with 5 minute for firm whites and runny yolks.
  3. Adjust seasonings, if needed. Sprinkle with crumbled goat cheese and serve.
This was really easy to throw together and quite delicious -- very savory, rich with tomato and yolk. Admittedly, green beans and tomatoes are one of my favorite combinations, so I'm probably a bit biased. I might try for a spicy version next time, by eliminating the rosemary and stirring in a dollop of Thai chili paste.


Summer's Bounty Crustless Quiche

I signed up for my very first CSA and have been excitedly counting down to June 23, when I could pick up my first share. The farm I use provides quarter, half, and full share subscriptions. Because The Husband doesn't enjoy eating many vegetables, I went with a quarter-share which is intended to feed one person for a week. Well ...

I'm sure it does. Problem is, I also acquired a friend's full share from different farm, because she just couldn't get to it this week. It's a one-time thing and, while I'm truly thankful for all the extra produce, I'm also thankful I hadn't signed up for a half or full share because I'm a little overwhelmed as it is!

What was in my combined CSA?

  • 1 pint + 1 quart of strawberries
  • 1 large bunch of pak choi (bok choy)
  • 2 large bunches of kale
  • 1 kohlrabi
  • 1 large head of romaine
  • 1 large bunch baby spinach
  • 3 garlic scapes
  • 1 large bunch red radishes
  • 1 large bunch white radishes
  • 1 thyme plant
  • 2 ears of popcorn
  • 1 dozen cage-free eggs

It's ... a lot for us. Especially when I take into account all the produce already on hand! So I made a crustless quiche. They're simple enough to do and can easily adapt to incorporate pretty much any vegetables or cheese you like. Obviously, I used what I had on hand which included a partial bag of matchstick-cut carrots and a wrinkly bell pepper.

This is a very dense, very veggie quiche with the eggs there mostly as binder. If you prefer a more fluffy, eggy quiche then add more eggs. I like it just as it is -- a warm, cheesy slab of garden on a plate -- and it's a great way to get in some of your 5 (or 10!) a Day.

Summer's Bounty Crustless Quiche

Yield: 8


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 oz red onion, chopped
  • ½ oz garlic cloves, chopped
  • 10 oz chopped kale
  • 3 oz matchstick-cut carrots
  • 6 oz bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 eggs
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 4 oz semisoft cheese (havarti, etc), cut into pea-sized cubes
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 1 oz shredded Parmesan


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Oil 13X9 baking dish.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large French/Dutch oven at medium heat; cook and stir onion and garlic until garlic is fragrant. Add kale, carrots, peppers, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until kale is wilted and greatly reduced in volume. Spread across bottom of oiled baking dish.
  3. Whisk eggs and milk together in a bowl. Add cheese and egg mixture to baking dish. Gently mix everything together and top with sliced tomato. Scatter parmesan across top.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until quiche is set in the middle and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Cool in dish for 5 minutes before slicing. Serve with fruit or dressed baby greens.


Asparagus & Tomato Scrambled Eggs With Goat Cheese

Woke up this morning and thought "That's it! I'm cooking today!" Perhaps not the most well thought out decision I've made in my life, but I haven't cooked in three weeks and am at the point in healing where I feel antsy all the time. I want to be doing things, but my body is not quite up to snuff. It's very "Sure, you want to lean against the kitchen counter and chop things? Can do. You want to reach up into cupboards? Bend down into drawers? I will fucking cut you."

Happily, I've learned that if I grab everything I might possibly need in one bend or reach, it's not too uncomfortable. For example, bending down to the crisper drawer for a handful of asparagus and tomatoes, then slowly straightening up whilst snagging three eggs, the smallest carton of milk, and the goat cheese was pretty okay. (My lifting limit is 5 pounds and I don't think I violated that, but I certainly didn't weigh everything to find out!)

Asparagus & Tomato Scrambled Eggs With Goat Cheese

Serves: 1, generously


  • Splash of olive oil
  • 6 slender stalks asparagus, trimmed and chopped fine
  • ½ half small red onion, chopped fine
  • 3 large eggs
  • Splash of 2% milk
  • 3 campari tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • Palmful of crumbled fresh goat cheese
  • Salt & freshly cracked pepper to taste


  1. Pour a little olive oil into your skillet and heat over medium. Add asparagus and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until onion is translucent.
  2. Whisk together eggs and milk. Pour over asparagus mixture and cook slowly, gently stirring, until eggs are almost set (still a little wet looking).
  3. Gently stir in diced tomatoes and goat cheese. Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper, as desired. Plate.
Overall, I'm quite proud of this dish. The creamy scrambled eggs combine well with the tangy goat cheese, mellow onions, and spring-bright asparagus while the tomatoes add a touch of sweet (but gentle) acidity. For an "earthier" version, I might add sliced mushrooms or replace the fresh tomatoes with dried. Regardless, it's definitely something to make again.


Beans On Toast & A Poached Egg

Beans on toast. It's so quintessentially British. And, if you're a bit snobby about food, it can sound quite dreadful. Certainly, the first time I heard of it I was very "ehhhhh ... can live without trying that." And then I ate it and there was no going back. Yes, I was a college student at the time, summering in my sexy British boyfriend's flat, so hormones and a certain amount of anglophilia no doubt encouraged my initial adoration, but nineteen years have not dimmed my love of beans on toast (or The Husband, for that matter).

I poached three eggs & this was the best of the lot. #learning

Beans on toast is a simple, tasty, and deeply comforting (carbs, fat, salt ... how could it not be comforting?) dish. You want to use Heinz tomato-based baked beans (although Batchelors will suffice in a pinch) and really good white bread that's been properly toasted so it's all crunchy and golden and then liberally spread with lots of real cow butter -- get some Kerrygold or Kate's -- I know you're all "You're burying all that good buttery toast under tinned beans! How can butter make a difference?" Trust me, it does. Just like you want a good sturdy, farmhouse-type white that won't dissolve into mush under the beans). Some people top their beans on toast with brown sauce or ketchup, but that's a bit much, imho. But then, you know, I used a poached egg ...

There's definitely a learning curve to poaching eggs and, despite multiple attempts, I'm still at the wrong end of it. Most recently, I resorted to microwave-poaching -- put about a half cup of water in a mug, crack an egg in, cover the mug with a dessert plate, microwave it for 40 seconds on full power. This method works well about half the time. If the water is from the fridge, it's too cold and the egg needs to cook a little longer, but how long gets really dicey.

Also, if I'm microwave-poaching an egg in a mug I already used to poach another egg, both the water and mug are too warm and the egg will poach much more quickly, so I need to dial the timer down ... but how far down is seemingly random. I'm thinking my best bet is room temperature egg, water, and mug (and new water and mug each time) ... but that would require some planning ahead and the whole point of microwave-poaching is instant poached egg.

And let's not talk about what happens when I try to poach an egg on the stovetop!


Dyeing Quail Eggs, Because Why Not?

Easter was at my parents' this year and I was absolutely categorically told not to bring anything so ... I pretty much ended up ignoring Easter at my house. No lamb, no ham, no beets, no dyed eggs.

Well, no eggs deliberately dyed Easter. I did dye quail eggs, because I wanted to know if I really good (Pinterest said yes, but Pinterest can be full of lies). After, getting The Husband's immigration status squared away (biometric screenings, hurrah!) on Good Friday, we ran a bunch of errands, ending at A Dong Supermarket in West Hartford.

We'd never been before and rather ran amok Buying. All. The. Things. And I need to go back. With a list, now that I know what they have, and take advantage of their cheap, but beautiful produce. I did pick up a half dozen Chinese pears (carefully selected whilst The Husband tried to attack me with a dragon fruit ... why was I so worried about his immigration status, again?) and 1½ dozen quail eggs.

I adore quail eggs, but have only ever seen them before at the local farmers markets where they are generally too dear for frequent purchase. But these were cheap (relatively speaking) and it had been soooo long since I'd had any -- hard-cooked quail eggs, shelled and lavishly peppered, are perfectly snackalicious -- so I bought them. Only one carton. Which I immediately regretted upon arriving home. Why not two, self? Why?

To hard cook the eggs, I put them in pan and covered them with cold water. Then I covered the pan and brought it to a boil. As it approached a boil, I gently stirred the eggs to try to center the yolks (still not sure this worked, but I read it on Pinterest and it didn't do any harm). As soon as the pan came to boil, I turned off burner and remove the pan from heat. I left it, still covered, off heat for 3 min.

Then dye the eggs, I combined ½ cup hot water (from the egg pan), ¼ cup white vinegar, and a liberal amount of blue food coloring in a deep bowl. I gently added the eggs and let them sit for 5 min, then I removed the eggs to a a cooling rack and let them dry. When they were dry, I rubbed with a little canola oil for shine.

Overall, I think they're adorable. A few of the eggs shells showed calcification (the white deposits) and those spots wouldn't take the dye, but I think that just added to its funky faux rustic look?


Broccoli & Cheese Crustless Quiche

Yes, it's another crustless egg bake. I'm really tempted to call them crustless quiches, but as there's no milk or cream in them, I'm not sure I can get away with that. Regardless, these crustless egg bakes or whatever you want to call them are quite tasty and forgiving -- I've yet to try a combination of ingredients that didn't turn out pleasing. For this version, I stuck with the traditional broccoli and cheese. Considered adding chopped ham, but there wasn't really enough room in the pie plate! Less broccoli next time? So I can get some ham in? And sun-dried tomatoes? Mmm.

In the oven, getting baked.

Broccoli & Cheese Crustless Quiche

Yield: 4-5 servings


  • 12 oz frozen chopped broccoli, prepared according to packaging
  • 5 oz reduced fat shredded cheddar
  • 1 small red onion, chopped fine
  • 16 oz liquid egg whites
  • Salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, & garlic powder, to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Lightly coat a glass pie plate with olive oil or cooking spray.
  3. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.
  4. Pour into the pie plate. Bake at 375°F for 35-45 minutes or until eggs are set.


Easy Anything & Everything Egg Bake

The giant tub of organic baby greens I bought at the warehouse club is, apparently, secretly a horn of plenty, because no mater how much of the stuff I eat, there's still more left. The greens ARE delicious, mind you, but I'm actually getting tired of salad for lunch (who knew that was possible?) and they're going to go off if they don't get et up fairly quickly.

So I made what I'm calling a crustless egg bake -- it's not quite a quiche or a frittata -- and I don't even have a "real" recipe to share with you because I didn't measure anything.

As I had a lot of greens and I wanted them to all fit in the pie plate, I microwaved them, covered, for a minute so that they were slightly wilted and easier to stuff in the lightly oiled plate. Then I chopped up a handful of wrinkly grape tomatoes and threw them in the pie dish along with some leftover chopped red onion and a generous amount of Penzeys Sunny Paris.

At this point, I thought the dish looked a little blah, so I sprinkled it with the last of the crumbled feta ...

Then I whisked together two eggs and the last of the egg whites and poured them over everything. Arranged a few thin slices of tomato around the top for extra pretty points. Baked the whole thing at 375°F for about 35 minutes.

That's breakfast for four days and no wasted vegetables. Hurrah. And, obviously, it tastes pretty good!


Sautéed Baby Greens & Eggs

I had some surgery last week and haven't been up to cooking or even standing up until the past day or two. And now I'm suddenly at that very restless stage of recovery, where I'm tired of being housebound, but also don't really have the energy necessary to function outside the house. Yesterday, I needed to get a prescription filled so I thought I'd pick up some groceries at the same time, but I didn't even get through the produce section before my body told me I needed to go back to the car and sit down or it was going to lay me down on the floor next to the sweet potatoes and wouldn't that be embarrassing?

Good times!

But, then I made this earlier today so I feel a bit better about myself. Granted, it probably took me way longer than it would you healthy folks, but I made food. Hurrah.

Sautéed Baby Greens & Eggs


  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • ¼ cup diced onions
  • 2 oz baby kale, spinach, & chard medley [Earthbound Farm Organic Power blend]
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 oz sharp cheddar, diced small [Cabot Seriously Sharp]


  1. Heat olive oil in a nonstick pan over medium heat until fragrant. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until they start to brown a bit.
  2. Add baby greens and cook, stirring, until wilted. Crack eggs over greens, sprinkle with cheese, and cover. Cook until eggs are set and cheese is melted.
  3. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Yield: 1 serving

You could use whatever greens or cheese you have on hand, really, as this is a very forgiving recipe. The only thing you really need to pay attention to is the eggs as mine seemed to go from too runny to too firm in the blink of an eye! Still delicious, though.


Nostalgic Eggie in the Hole

When I was just a little thing, way back in first or second grade, my mother would occasionally make me an "eggie in the hole" for breakfast. I thought it was the most awesome breakfast in the world -- uniformly golden, buttery, crunchy bread with an egg (hard-cooked, because runny yolks were EWWW) perfectly centered in the middle. I adored it.

This morning I woke up positively craving an egg-in-the-hole. It's been years since I made one and, while mine couldn't compete with those of my nostalgia-tinted childhood memories, it was still pretty darn fine. And I made sure the yolk was all soft and runny, because I now know runny yolks to be totally YUM.

Amusingly, egg-in-the-hole was the perfect way to use up the under-baked middle of a loaf of bread I'm made earlier in the week. The circular cut-out for the egg neatly removed the under-done bit and I was left with what looked like a perfect bake.


Fast Breakfast Egg & Vegetable Bowls

I'm trying to add more servings of veg to EVERYTHING so rather than my usual breakfast of a microwaved egg on a mini bagel, I've been making these bowls of goodness.

Just toss a handful of baby spinach, some chopped grape tomatoes, onion, and peppers into a bowl and microwave for 1 minute. Add 1 egg and 1 oz egg whites, stir, and microwave for another minute. Add a slice of cheese (gruyere or muenster as I use up the leftovers from work's infamous grilled cheese party) -- the heat from the egg and the bowl will melt the cheese.

Pretty much any fresh or frozen vegetables you have on hand will work, of course, and you don't have to add the cheese ... but why wouldn't you want a bit of hot melty cheese on a bleak don't-make-me-adult January morning?


Savory Salmon Muffins

Linda's "Tuna Or Salmon Muffins" are a great "in a pinch" recipe. You know, one of those recipes for when you "forgot" to go grocery shopping because you were too busy reading or gardening or whathaveyou and now it's supper time and you're vaguely hungry but don't know what to do. Or does that only happen to me?

These fishy muffins also have the benefit of being low carb, if you're into that. I just liked that they sounded fast, easy, and used things I always have on hand. I used two 6-oz cans of Wild Planet Wild Alaska Pink Salmon, Cabot Seriously Sharp, and a generous amount of Penzeys salt-free Tuscan Sunset in addition to the salt and pepper. When I make these again (quite possibly TOMORROW) I will use even more seasoning as I found the muffins a little bland. The fabulous roasted garlic aïoli I served them with made up for that, but I feel a dish shouldn't be dependent on its sauce for flavor.

Had intended to cook up some steam-in-bag frozen asparagus to go with these muffins, but then I realized the fresh steam-in-bag broccoli florets I'd bought Wednesday night had a best-used-by date of Thursday. Yes. What was I thinking? I distinctly remember looking through all the bags for one dated as far in the future as possible ... and yet that bag is not the one that came home with me.

I microwaved the broccoli for 3 of the 3½ minutes directed by the bag and then tossed the cooked broccoli with olive oil, lemon juice, freshly ground black pepper, and Boxed Goodes' Allium Salt. Currently, this is my favorite way of preparing fresh or frozen steam-in-bag broccoli and, prepared this way, I can easily eat a bag that should serve four in a day!


Husband-Pleasing Egg Salad

The Husband has enjoyed a brief but torrid love affair with a local deli's egg salad. I've tried, over the past six months, to return his eggy affections to our kitchen, where his gastronomic heart should rightly lie, and I've failed every time. Until Sunday. Sunday I brought out the big guns. The irresistible charm. The foolproof seducer.

That's right! I pulled out my copy of The Cook's Country Cookbook: Rediscovering American Home Cooking with 500 Classic, Regional, and Heirloom Recipes (Boston Common Press, 2007). Apparently, to a man who adores a straight-forward no-frills egg salad its "Classic Egg Salad" is irresistibly delicious. The best egg salad he's ever eaten, he said.


Cook's Country recommends dicing the eggs into medium-sized pieces but I stuck with my preferred mash-them-with-a-pastry-blender-until-they-look-right method. I also used dried parsley instead of fresh as I had none on hand. It all worked out deliciously and I will, obviously, be making it regularly.


Cheesy Spinach Scramble

I had some bruschetta topping leftover from this month's Improv Challenge and, oh my god, I've discovered it's good on pretty much everything -- pasta, burgers, sandwiches, scrambled eggs, etc.


To make these yummy and mostly-good-for-you eggs:

Sauté baby spinach in a little olive oil until tender. Add two eggs beaten with a little milk. Cook over medium low heat, stirring gently, until curds start to form and the eggs are still wet but not runny. Top with a little light cheddar (Cabot, obviously) and pop the pan under the broiler until the cheese is all melty and doubly delicious. Top with a little leftover bruschetta (salsa would also be tasty) and eat!


Improv Challenge: Lime & White Chocolate

When I saw December's Improv Cooking Challenge ingredients were lime and white chocolate, I immediately knew I wanted to make a pudding. Essentially, I wanted something like a pavlova -- a soft meringue nest filled with lime curd mousse topped with white chocolate whipped cream and berries. I've never actually eaten or baked a pavlova, but I've made several Eton Mess and what is that but a deconstructed pavlova?

white chocolate & lime clouds

I used King Arthur Flour's pavlova recipe, because their recipe for Angel Kisses (a meringue cookie) always come out well. While the pavlova recipe makes one big meringue, I chose to make five smaller single-serving meringues. If I'd been a bit neater I could have gotten six meringues from the recipe, but I'm not(and probably never will be) a neat baker.

The meringue recipe only needs five common kitchen ingredients and goes together easily so do give it a try if, like me, meringue makes you a little nervous.

Meringue Ingredients
Meringue Ingredients
Unbaked Small Meringue Shells
Unbaked meringues (the baked ones look almost exactly the same)
Lime Mousse

11 oz jar lime curd [Thursday Cottage]
1¼ cups whipping cream
zest of one lime

Put curd into the bowl of your stand mixer with the zest and cream, and whisk until thickened and fluffy. Chill 2 hours. (Whisk in a few drops of green food coloring with the cream, if you like, otherwise the dish will be very white).

Ingredients for lazy lime mousse
Lime Mousse Ingredients
White Chocolate Whipped Cream

2 ounces white chocolate, broken into small pieces [Ghiradelli]
1½ cups plus ¼ cup heavy cream

Microwave chocolate and ¼ cup whipping cream in large microwaveable bowl on high 1 minute or until chocolate is almost melted, stirring after 30 seconds. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Set aside and allow to cool to room temperature.

Whip the cream in a chilled bowl to soft peaks. Fold in the cooled white chocolate mixture and beat to stiff peaks.

Or, if you have a whipped cream dispenser, pour the cooled chocolate and cream into the container. Replace cap, charge with one cylinder, shake, and maketh with the whip creameth.

white chocolate whipped cream
White Chocolate Whipped Cream Ingredients
Fill meringue shells with lime mousse, top with white chocolate whipped cream, and garnish with blackberries and additional lime zest, if desired. (You will have extra mousse and whipped cream. The mousse will keep. The whipped cream probably won't if you didn't add stabilizer or make it in a whipped cream dispenser).

These lime and white chocolate pavlovas where very light and bright-tasting. Tangy, with most of the sweetness coming from the meringue itself. I'd expected the mousse to be quite sweet as there was a fair amount of sugar in the prepared curd, but it wasn't. It was wonderfully fragrant, though, and made my whole kitchen smell fantastic. I was also rather impressed by the white chocolate whipped cream as the flavor of the chocolate really came through.

These pavlovas are very pretty served as I photographed them, but I admit that when it actually came time to eat them, we found it easier to bash the pavlovas up into small pieces and stir them into the mousse ... Eton mess, all over again.

The meringues will keep indefinitely in an airtight container and the mousse is good for two or three days, so these are easy enough to make ahead.


Egg-Stuffed Potatoes

This is definitely one of the odder dishes I've made, but I figured since stuffing a tomato with egg worked out okay, so would stuffing a potato with an egg. There are different versions of this dish all over Pinterest, too, which must mean it works ... right?

And, if it didn't, I still had two dozen eggs in the fridge to make something else with.  No, I don't know how we ended up with so many eggs. Probably multiple cases of listless grocery shopping.

Egg-Stuffed Potato

And, you know, it actually does work pretty well. Hot, starchy, buttery potato wet with rich, runny, yolk and melty cheeeeze. A little bacon wouldn't go amiss, though ...
Egg-Stuffed Potatoes

2 potatoes, baked your favorite way
2 large eggs
1 tbsp unsalted butter
4 Tbsp shredded "Italian" cheese blend or your favorite cheese
3 Tbsp freeze-dried chives
salt and pepper, as desired

Preheat oven to 350F°. Slice a thin layer off the top of each potato. Gently scoop out insides, being careful not to poke holes in the potatoes (save scooped potato for another recipe). Place potatoes on a baking sheet. If potatoes roll a little, just smoosh them flat against the bottom of the sheet.

Divide butter between potatoes. Sprinkle with half the chives, salt, and pepper. Crack an egg into each potato. Divide cheese between the potatoes. Sprinkle with remaining chives and more salt and pepper, if desired.

Bake for 15 minutes and then check egg. Egg whites should be set and yolks soft. If whites are not set, bake another 5 minutes.


Egg Salad With Your Pastry Blender

After many years of use, my egg slicer gizmo broke a few months ago and I was reticent to replace it, because it's one of those kitchen devices that spend more time cluttering up my kitchen drawers than it sees use. Without the gizmo, I slice and dice eggs with a knife when I need them for potato salad and I had taken to mashing them with a fork for egg salad. I found I actually preferred the textured of fork-mashed egg to gizmo-chopped egg in egg salad and decided to never replace the egg slicer.

But then, after too many episodes of The Great British Bake-Off, I bought a pastry blender. And, while I have yet to use it to make lovely cream scones, I have found the pastry blender does a really nice job chopping eggs for egg salad.

Egg Salad Sandwich

Easy Egg Salad
Makes filling for 4 sandwiches

8 peeled, hard-cooked eggs
¼ scant cup 0% Greek yoghurt
1 heaping Tbsp Dijonnaise
1 tsp dried tarragon
1 tsp dried dill
1 tsp dried chives
1 tsp dried parsley
Salt and pepper, to taste.

Crush the herbs between your fingers to release their oils. Add to a large mixing bowl. Whisk in yogurt and Dijonnaise. Add eggs to bowl.

Making Egg Salad

Using your pastry blender (or a fork or whathaveyou), mash eggs until desired consistency is reached.

Making Egg Salad

Making Egg Salad

Season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate one hour or until ready to sandwichize.
(You'll note only seven eggs were pictured. One had a terrible accident with the salt and pepper mills and, somehow, ended up in my tummy).


Improv Challenge: Eggs & Bacon

I admit I really had no idea what to do with April's Improv Challenge ingredients. Eggs and bacon are delish, yes, but how to make them interesting enough for the Improv Challenge without creating some kind of dangerous bacon-enhanced cupcake? Because that's what everyone thinks when they hear "eggs and bacon," right? Cupcakes?

I wandered through Pinterest, looking for savory recipes that served one or two. While I was toying with a recipe for sweet potato hash topped with a lovely soft poached egg, I stumbled across Living Paleo's recipe for "Sweet Potato, Bacon and Egg Salad" and knew I had found The One.

Bacon, Egg, & Sweet Potato Salad

Bacon, Egg, and Sweet Potato Salad
Adapted from Living Paleo's "Sweet Potato, Bacon and Egg Salad"
Serves 2

1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped into thumbnail-sized cubes
2 large eggs
4 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
4 Tbsp finely chopped fresh dill
2 Tbsp finely minced shallot
2 Tbsp mayonnaise
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Hard-cook eggs according to your favorite method -- I put mine (6, because it's just as easy as 2) in a saucepan, cover them with cold water, put the lid on, and let them come to boil. Then I remove them from the stove and let them sit for 10 minutes. Submerge them in a bowl of ice water until cooled, peel, and chop.

Cook bacon according to your favorite method -- I baked mine on a foil-lined jelly roll pan at 400F° for about 20 minutes. I like a really crisp, slightly blackened bacon so ytmv.

Put sweet potato in a saucepan, cover with water, and heat to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer for about 4 minutes or until easily pierced with a knife.

Combine dill, mayonnaise, lemon juice and zest, and shallot in a medium mixing bowl. Add eggs, sweet potato, and bacon. Stir well. Season with pepper to taste.
The original recipe notes this salad can be eaten warm or cold. As it serves two, I ate half warm for breakfast and the other half cold over a bed of shredded romaine for lunch. While I think lunch's flavors were better for having sat a few hours, I preferred the salad warm. Therefore, I recommend you let it sit and then warm it a little in the microwave before you eat it. (The bacon seemed as crisp at lunch as at breakfast, so no worries about soggy bacon).


Happy Easter!

Easter has always been one of my favorite holidays and dyeing Easter eggs must be my favorite tradition. I remember, when I was very small, my mother would let me chose the colors and add the drops of dye to the vinegar. The tiny puddles of dye always looked too little to matter, but then she'd add boiling water from the kettle and ... well, six-year-old me thought it was a kind of magic. As I grew older, I was eventually allowed to take on more egg dyeing responsibilities and, by the time I was in high school, the job was all mine. And I reveled in it, turning out all sorts of weird, festive colors that made my mother sigh a little.

Dyeing Easter Eggs

I all grown up now, with no children of my own, yet I still dye eggs. I dye eggs and remember the Easters of my childhood. Olives on my fingers, morsels of spiral ham snuck from the roasting pan when no-one was looking, my grandmother's pirogi and kielbasa. And, of course, the Easter basket! My mother made the best Easter basket -- jellybeans and a chocolate bunny, of course, but also markers and watercolors, coloring books and crayons, bubbles and an awesome cuddly stuffed bunny.


Healthy Breakfast Still Tastes Good

Now that we're in The Season of Eating, I'm trying very hard to eat healthfully and stick with Weight Watchers. I'm not forswearing any Hanukkah/Christmas goodness, mind you, as December without latkes or home-baked cookies would be a terrible thing indeed. I'm just trying to eat more sensibly the rest of the time.

So what does this "more sensibly" look like when it's at home? Well, for breakfasts, I've been doing this excellent egg white and spinach bake:

Egg Whites & Spinach

Egg Whites & Spinach Bake

16 oz carton All Whites 100% Liquid Egg Whites
7 oz package Nature's Promise organic baby spinach
3 oz fat free feta, crumbled
¼ diced dehydrated red & green bell pepper
1 Tbsp sriracha chili sauce
Salt and pepper, as desired

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Microwave baby spinach 1-2 minutes or until wilted. Stir in all other ingredients. Transfer to a greased pie plate and bake, uncovered, for about 20 minutes or until cooked through. Serves 4. (2WWP+ per serving, but ymmv).
You could bake these in four individual ramekins, but the cooking time will need to be adjusted.

I eat this egg bake with two tablespoons of garlicky Green Mountain Gringo salsa (0) and a satsuma mandarin (0) or banana (0) and I feel righteous. If I'm extra hungry, I'll add a fat-free Chobani Greek yoghurt (3) and still feel righteous.